available in full graphics and/or textonly
Many, many in the public limelight today could take a severe lesson from Joseph's virtues, in particular those who stand as "role models" for our youth, such men as Bill Clinton comes immediately to mind. The travesty of the immoral escapades of this man who holds the highest office in the land is an aberation to God and to Joseph, and should be the same for every American. But sadly, the "in thing" is to wink, and spout the pc line, "what's the harm if it doesn't hurt anybody" or "who cares what he does in his private life, as long as the economy is good." How low we have sunk as a nation, a country dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Even though slick Willy denies it with one lie after another, he exudes a cocky flamboyance that flaunts the possibilities. Believe it or not, folks, he loves the attention to his sexual prowess as if he were still a college stud sowing his oats. That is truly sad in the face of younger generations struggling with the moral compass that has seemed to go askew in today's society and mores. That is why it is so important to lean on Joseph, the "Protector of children and teens" for his fatherly love provided the sturdy mast of the Holy Family's ship, while Mary provided the sails that billowed in holiness day in and day out. With so many teens in trouble or troubled, parents and friends need to turn to Joseph as "Solace of the Afflicted" and "Comforter of the Troubled" for he can sustain them in their many trials and temptations if only they ask. Remember, Joseph is also considered "Rescuer of Sinners" which includes everyone of us. Call on him for he is the "Safeguard of Families," God's chosen guardian for His Only-begotten Son and His Blessed Mother who the Almighty has given to us as protector of all Christian homes.
For those ill with something, remember Joseph is the foster father of the Divine Physician, so he should know a thing or two about sustaining the sick and obtaining relief for anyone who is sick and calls on his care for Joseph is the "Hope of the Sick." Joseph was not a wealthy man, he made his living by the sweat of his brow through carpentry work, providing what he could for his family and the family accepted everything gratefully, sharing with others when needed. That is another reason Joseph is also known as "Consolation of the Poor" for he not only provided for the needs of Jesus and Mary, but others as well, and continues today to help the needy of the entire world if they but call on him. Few realize Joseph is also known as "Patron of Priests and Seminarians" for he was the foster father of Jesus, the First Priest Who was also the Priest-Victim. His virtues of chastity, obedience, poverty, prudence, - the list goes on - are the ideal for every man of the cloth or preparing to take vows. If only more priests and to-be-priests relied on exemplifying Joseph's attributes, the world and our Church would be that much better. Finally, the one title so many devote to Joseph is "Patron of a Happy Death" for he died in the arms of Mary and Jesus the young Man. Holy Mother Church has for centuries entreated us to call on him for intercession for the dying, when we take our last breath. Who better to be standing at our bedside than the good, holy Joseph who silently will extend his firm hand to guide us to the Heavenly portals if we but exemplify his virtues.
One of the best prayers, ejaculations the Church calls them, is the short but effective "Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you. Save souls." So short, and yet so powerful. While Mary was the Heart of the Holy Family, Joseph was the Head and Jesus, the Body. All members worked in unison. By the example of the Holy Family we can go to school on how they did it in striving to bring harmony into our own families; not easy in today's modernistic culture. But by calling on them often, we can better equate our own hardships to the Holy Family's travails and offer them up in order to gain rewarding graces from above. With all the titles good Saint Joseph has been given, we doubt anyone has been left off his "care list." On his wonderful feast day we can come to the conclusion that good St. Joseph is all things to all men and by following the example of this silent giant we can eradicate sin in our lives and bring grace alive through the example of this holy, fatherly saint whose intercession is attributed to killing vice with the swift sword of virtue. And why not? Afterall, he's the "Silent Assassin!"
Though most are prophecies given in private revelation, much as been revealed in public revelation as well. What's more important, most of the private revelation strongly supports public revelation - that Divinely revealed in Sacred Scripture and the Dogmas, Doctrines and Teachings of Holy Mother Church. That is a key point to all this for these messengers, chosen by God Almighty, are not soothsayers, not fortune tellers, not quick-buck scam artists out to captilize on the doom and gloom phenomenon of these times, not scatological scaliwags, but rather chosen vehicles to convey the Triune Divinity's Will in God's Master Plan for His children. What person in their right mind would want to be a prophet, subject themselves to ridicule and public scrutiny and be called a "whacko" because they "hear" messages? Not many are that kind of glutton for punishment. No, we strongly feel they accepted their gift of prophecy, their mission, in total compliance with God's Holy Will and call upon Him every second of the day to steer them in the right direction. Some of the "accusers" in the Church, not the Church itself, but members of the Church, have professed that a great majority of these messengers are false. Now there are a few who have been censored by the Magisterium because something in one or more messages contains contradictions to public revelation, but, believe it or not, those are far and between the majority. What then do these "accusers" base their claims on that the majority of visionaries and locutionists are false? The answer is their opinion, plain and simple, for none can find anything concrete that contradicts Sacred Scripture or matters of faith and morals! The fact of the matter is the majority support and enrich Divine Revelation, adding further insight and discernment to what was intended. How can we state this emphatically? Because if the "accusers" were right that the majority of these modern prophets were wrong, do you think the Church would allow it to continue. Not on your life. Take a look at Church history and when anything cropped up, any kind of heresy or concept contrary to Church Doctrine and Sacred Scripture, the Church was quick to put a halt on it with some sort of formal announcement or document by either the Pope himself or a local bishop. This has happened very rarely in these last several decades. Why? We believe because the prophets of today are truly hearing from God as we asserted above, and secondly, it is a fulfillment of Isaiah 44: 3, and Acts 2: 17 foretold by the prophet Joel, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says the Lord, that I will pour forth My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams. And moreover upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."
With that understanding, we can better relate to the meaning of John Bosco's vision, and the messages imparted to him as well as other messages to other "prophets" pertaining to the same events. In his book Tragedy and Triumph, the author Father Georges de Jesus gives us an inkling of what the vision and messages purport. One prophecy to John Bosco says, "Iniquity is consummated: sin has come to an end and, before the two full moons of the month of the flowers have passed, the rainbow of peace will appear over the earth." Fr. Georges calculates that the next "two full moons of the month of flowers" will occur in 1999 and that month is March. That is the only period of "two full moons" until the millennium. So then how does the "month of flowers" compute? Many would think this is either April or May, but in truth March is the month of flowers for the apex of this month is the solemnity of none other than Saint Joseph whose feast we celebrate today! The silent saint is most always depicted holding the beautiful lilies - flowers symbolizing purity, cleansing. What more perfect occasion than his feast day for the world to be cleansed and "the rainbow of peace to appear over the earth."? If this sounds far-fetched, consider the prophecy given to the visionaries of Garabandal who we have been covering during Lent in our megaseries THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS. We have been told about the Warning - the illumination of our soul when everyone will see themselves exactly as God does. Many had thought it would have happened by now, and because it hasn't, they have dismissed it as fantasy. Don't be deceived, it will come and soon. When? We can't purport to predict because that is not important as to the exact date, only to know that it is imminent. Along with the messages to the Garabandal visionaries about this Warning which will be a true expression of God's Infinite Mercy (for He is giving all a "second chance," a dress rehearsal, if you will, for the Final Judgment) there is the gift of anohter phenomenon promised by Our Lady. That promise is the Miracle which will be seen by all - beginning at the Pines above the village of Garabandal and then spreading to the entire world. What it will be exactly only a few know such as Padre Pio and a Jesuit priest close to the visionaries by the name of Father Luis Andrea who exclaimed "Milagro! Milagro!" upon seeing this vision of the Miracle. Both have since passed on to their Heavenly reward, but we do know it will be miraculous and be seen throughout the world. Could it be "the rainbow of peace?" That, too, is not so far-fetched when one considers Garabandal visionary Conchita Gonzales Keena's assurance from Our Lady that it will occur in either March, April, or May and between the thirteenth and sixteenth, though some reports indicate up to the twentieth of the month. It will be on the feast of a "little-known martyr of the Eucharist" and on a Thursday. There is much conjecture on which saint this might be. Some refer to Saint Justin the Martyr whose feast in the old calendar is on March 16th. That would fit in with the time frame Conchita has expressed. Others point to Saint Hermenegild, another martyr whose feast is on April 13th or Saint Tibertius the next day who was the brother of Saint Cecilia's husband Valerian, or in May Saint Boniface on the 14th. All were martyrs, but were they "martyrs of the Eucharist?" We don't really know. Here's another consideration that has some credence. While St. Joseph is well-known, few realize he is a Eucharistic saint, having nurtured the Living Eucharist for around twenty years. So little is known of Joseph that everything else is pure conjecture, but as more and more is revealed through private revelation it just might be possible that Joseph be considered a Eucharistic martyr because, though he died a happy death, he gave every breath of his life for his foster Son - the Living Eucharist - and his cherished spouse - the Tabernacle of the Living Eucharist - the Blessed Virgin Mary.
While the above tie-in with Saint Joseph is purely conjecture on our part and falls on Friday next year, not Thursday as it does this year, it does give one food for thought. Consider what saint is more associated with peace and serenity than St. Joseph? Wouldn't it seem to fit God's Master Plan that this promised Era of Peace begin with His beloved and loyal Joseph, so faithful to God's Holy Will? It is possible and plausible as well. One further take on John Bosco's words about "before the two full moons of the month of flowers have passed" means the second moon is likely to occur on or around the 19th of the month - St. Joseph's feast day. With that in mind, could we then be looking at one year from today? If that is the case, we all have much work to accomplish before then; to quote the poet Robert Frost, "...miles to go before I sleep." That's appropriate for few will be able to sleep if everything prophecied before the New Advent - the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - occurs.
In the next installment we will treat this "crunch time" and some of the quotes from St. John Bosco reinforcing this.
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.
I see Jesus tied by the hands and around the waist as one might do to a wild, insane person. He stands meekly in the center of a large room, and already the maltreatment He has received shows plainly. He has been brutally slapped, for His lips are swollen and blood trickles down into His beard. There is a large bruise beneath His left eye and the flesh is swollen. Also His nose bleeds and I wonder if it is broken. But Our Lord utters not one sound, while I become aware of noise all around: the scuffling of feet, the murmur of voices, the rustling of roves and mantles.
I am in the court of Annas and Caiphas; the trial before the Sanhedrin. There are many, many nobles of the Temple present. The torches along the wall light the room but make elongated, grotesque shadows of all those present.
I move in a full circle and see nearly every place filled. But several are empty, the places of those who will have no part in this unjust trial under Mosaic Law.
But everyone in attendance is watching Jesus with rabid attention. They nearly salivate at the thought that this "man," this Nazarene is finally theirs and will soon be dead, buried and forgotten.
All reason has left them. It shows in their eyes, upon their open, snarling lips.
It is as if time stands still. All movement for me is suspended. While I long to gaze at my suffering Jesus, I must turn. Now I see the High Priest, Caiphas. He is rotund, pompous in attire and posture. His fleshy face and eyes are glaring at Jesus. The arteries in his thick neck pulsate with blood and he is shaking with a rage which he can no longer hold in check. As I look at Annas and the others, I see through the eyes of my soul the glare of the evil one in each face. Sanity has fled. Human emotion, human passion in all its baseness is here and the malevolence is palpable. It tries to push me back, to bend me in half, to rip me apart. But silently I cry out "Jesus" and the force withdraws.
At this moment Caiphas literally rips apart the expensive, highly-decorated robe he wears as High Priest and in a voice that rises to near-scream he shouts to all assembled:
`"He has blasphemed!" A moment of silence, as Caiphas dares to take several steps closer to the Messiah, the Lamb of God. He would spit upon Jesus, but rather, turns mockingly to all the scribes and elders and asks in a ridiculous voice: "What further need have we of witnesses?
A voice, then two, three - and all: "He is liable to death!"
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 8: THE TRIAL BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN